Plateau United coach Abdu Maikaba has blamed his side’s shock home loss to Kwara United on injuries to ‘key players’.
Goals from Jide Fatokun and Michael Ohanu handed Kwara United a surprise 2-0 win in Jos against the 2017 Nigeria Professional Football League champions, as the 2020/21 NPFL season got underway on Sunday.
In a chat with www.busybuddiesng.com, Maikaba, who oversaw the early elimination of the Peace Boys from the CAF Champions League by Simba SC of Tanzania, said the continental exertions have taken a toll on his players, but remains optimistic they will bounce back from the setback.
“The team was injury-hit, we have more than eight of our regular players that did not partake (in the match against Kwara United),” the former Akwa United gaffer said.
“The problem has being since we came back from Tanzania. Almost all the contingent, including the officials, everybody has been sick – some for five days, some for two weeks, some, up to today, they are not okay.
“And seven of our key players are involved, and you know what it means losing seven key players who are part of your first team. It is very difficult.
“The boys played very well in the first half, but lost control in the second half after conceding the first goal because of too much pressure.”
With the imminent return of the injured ‘key players’, Maikaba expressed confidence Plateau United will bounce back in subsequent matches.
“I believe we’ll get it right very soon,” he added. “Players that are sick will be back, players that played against Kwara United will work on the lapses we noticed, and we will continue. This is just the beginning, we just started the league.”
Up next for Plateau United is a tricky away encounter against Wikki Tourists in Bauchi on 3 January, 2021.